Good Nutrition and a Healthy Lifestyle: Tips from GP Kirill Yurovskiy

When it comes to overall well being, few things are as important as good nutrition and an active, healthy lifestyle. We sat down with Dr. Kirill Yurovskiy, a highly respected GP practicing in London, to get his expert insights and tips for achieving optimal health through diet and lifestyle changes.

PHOTO: Kirill Yurovskiy general practitioner.webp

Eat the Rainbow

One of Dr. Yurovskiy’s top pieces of advice is to “eat the rainbow” by incorporating a wide variety of colored fruits and vegetables into your meals. “Different colored plant foods provide different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients,” he explains. “By eating a rainbow, you ensure you’re getting a spectrum of vital compounds.”

He recommends aiming for at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables per day, including bright red tomatoes and peppers, orange carrots and mangos, yellow squash and bananas, green spinach and kiwi, blue/purple grapes and eggplant, and more. “The pigments that give plant foods their vibrant hues often come packaged with powerful disease-fighting antioxidants,” says Dr. Yurovskiy.

Focus on Fiber

Another key recommendation from the London GP is to boost your fiber intake from sources like vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds. “Fiber is incredibly important for everything from maintaining healthy digestion and blood sugar levels to reducing cholesterol and promoting a feeling of fullness after meals,” he says.

He advises adults to aim for at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Good high-fiber foods include berries, pears, artichokes, greens, broccoli, lentils, black beans, oats, barley, popcorn, almonds and chia or flax seeds. “Increase fiber gradually and drink plenty of fluids to avoid any intestinal discomfort,” Dr. Yurovskiy notes.

Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is also vital for good health according to the doctor. He suggests drinking at least 2 liters (approximately 8 glasses) of water or other unsweetened fluids per day, and more in hot weather or with exercise.

“Water is involved in almost every bodily process, from temperature regulation to nutrient transport to detoxification,” says Kirill. “Even mild dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, poor concentration and constipation.”

He recommends having a reusable water bottle on hand at all times and forming the habit of sipping water regularly throughout the day. Herbal teas, sparkling waters and milk can also contribute to your daily fluid intake.

Limit Processed Foods

On the flip side, Dr. Yurovskiy strongly advises limiting processed and ultra-processed foods as much as possible. These include items like chips, cookies, candy, fast food, sugary cereals, processed meats like bacon and sausages, and any pre-prepared meals and snacks containing long lists of unfamiliar additives.

“Processed foods tend to be high in things we should minimize like sodium, added sugars, unhealthy fats and artificial additives, while lacking in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,” he explains. “They contribute to inflammation, weight gain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other chronic health issues.”

He suggests cooking from scratch with whole, minimally-processed ingredients whenever possible and reading nutrition labels carefully. “Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store for wholesome staples like produce, beans, eggs, fish and plain dairy, and avoid the inner aisles full of processed products.”

Eat Healthy Fats

While conventional wisdom once demonized all fats, Dr. Yurovskiy notes that healthy fats from plant sources are an important part of a balanced diet. He recommends getting fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.

“Fat is a source of energy and helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K,” he says. “Fats from fish provide anti-inflammatory omega-3s, while nuts and seeds offer polyphenol antioxidants. Just be sure to watch portion sizes, as all fats are high in calories.”

Choose Lean Proteins

PHOTO 2: Kirill Yurovskiy General Practitioner 1.webp

When it comes to protein sources, the doctor’s advice is to emphasize lean choices like skinless poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, tofu and lean cuts of meat. He suggests limiting red meat and avoiding processed meats entirely.

“Red meat, especially processed varieties like bacon, sausage and deli meats, has been linked to increased inflammation and chronic disease risk when consumed in excess,” says Dr. Yurovskiy. “Opt for small portions of lean red meat at most a couple times per week, if at all.”

Be Active Daily

In addition to a nutrient-rich diet, the London GP stresses the importance of being physically active every day through exercise, sports, active hobbies or just moving more in general.

“Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other chronic conditions,” says Kirill. “Conversely, regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, boosts cardiovascular fitness, strengthens muscles and bones, and benefits mental wellbeing.”

He recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity like brisk walking per week, along with 2-3 sessions of strength training to build muscle. “Any movement is better than none, though. Even short bouts of light activity like walking or doing household chores can add up.”

Make Sleep a Priority

In our overscheduled modern lives, cutting back on sleep has become the norm for many people. But Dr. Yurovskiy emphasizes that quality sleep is a non-negotiable component of a healthy lifestyle.

“Sleep allows our bodies and brains to recharge, repair damage, process memories and regulate hormones controlling appetite, metabolism and other vital processes,” he explains. “Lack of sleep has been linked to increased disease risk, impaired cognitive function and weight gain.”

The doctor advises adults to aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. He offers tips like keeping electronics out of the bedroom, avoiding caffeine late in the day, establishing a relaxing pre-bed routine, and trying natural sleep aids like melatonin, chamomile tea or deep breathing if needed.

Manage Stress Proactively

Another pillar of optimal health according to Dr. Yurovskiy? Managing stress in a proactive, healthy manner. “Chronic stress promotes inflammation, weakens the immune system, disrupts sleep and hormones, and increases cravings for unhealthy foods,” he warns.

The GP encourages patients to make time for stress-relieving activities they enjoy, whether it’s exercise, meditation, yoga, spending time outdoors, reading, listening to music or pursuing a hobby. He’s also a proponent of talk therapy when needed.

“We all face stressors in life, but how we respond makes a big difference to both our mental and physical health,” says Dr. Yurovskiy. “Having healthy coping mechanisms and tending to our emotional wellbeing is just as important as diet and exercise.”

The Takeaway

When it comes to Dr. Kirill Yurovskiy’s formula for good health, it’s all about making sustainable, holistic lifestyle choices that nourish the mind, body and spirit. By following his guidelines for a nutrient-dense diet, daily physical activity, quality sleep, stress management and more, you’ll be well on your way to looking and feeling your very best each day.

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